A Matter of Time

Advent Reflection, Friday, December 3

By: Eleanor Wellford

Time marches on! No, time stands still. Time is running out! Actually there’s plenty of time left. The time is now! The time was then. Time means everything! Time means nothing. So, which is it? How can “time” be so many things at once?

It can be that way because we’ve made it that way! We’ve made time really important in our lives. And if you don’t believe that, just think of how often we look at our watches or more likely, our cell phones to see what time it is. And what good does it really do because the more we see what time it is, the more we tend to stress about it – whether we’re running out of it or have too much of it. Rarely is there a feeling of satisfaction after seeing what time it is.

According to the church calendar, we are in the season of Advent which is a time to wait for Jesus’s birth. Yet what we’ve been hearing from our readings recently, is that we are to be prepared for Christ’s second coming at an unknown time.

To say the least, it’s a confusing time! There’s a stretch of time, however, that can be captured in the phrases “in the meantime” or “in between time” which means something hasn’t happened yet but is expected to happen.

The apostle Paul was concerned about this “in between” time. In his letters to the various communities of recently converted Christians, he wrote about the importance of keeping the faith when it was hard to do so. The ground on which those early churches was founded was shaky to say the least; but against all odds, those churches not only survived, but thrived because of their faith.

I believe that faith is the only thing that allows us to live a meaningful life during times of stress and uncertainty – something we’ve all become used to during the past almost two years.

So the next time you look to see what time it is, especially during Advent, try to be aware of the time that marks the beginning of something not yet here. As humans we know how hard it is to live in that time, but as Christians, we have faith that God’s love, incarnate in Jesus Christ, will be the strength we need to see us through whatever time it is.